Luke Johnson, Email Project Coordinator, reports on what caught his expert eye at the recent Internet World Expo.
The Internet World Expo is Europe’s largest event for digital business. And with over 300 exhibitors housed within the vast halls of London’s Earl’s Court, I certainly wasn’t short of stands to see, demos to try and people to talk to.
As well as the many stands offering product information and all the glossy brochures you could possibly carry, there was a hectic schedule of free seminars too. Keen to make the most of my visit, I hit a lot of them. But the one that really grabbed my attention was titled ‘Email’s Role in a World Gone Mocial’. The burning questions of “aren’t social and mobile both hotter than email?”, and “where does email fit?” go through many advertisers’ minds, and this seminar delivered some fascinating and useful insights into these issues.
One of the key points of the seminar was a view we already subscribe to: email must adopt, adapt and improve in a ‘Mocial’ world. So we must constantly review our tactics and techniques to ensure the email channel thrives and our communications are successful.
One area that always helps effective email communication stand apart from other channels is their capability for unique personalisation. Bringing an email to life with personal touches can really influence the recipient. And a brilliant example shown at the seminar was the email campaign designed for Air New Zealand.
This email uses the first name of the recipient, and includes information such as their flight details, a 5-day destination weather forecast, and travel tips. OK. And the imagery is also relevant to the customer’s destination. Smart.
But the most impressive piece of personalisation is the image of the flight stewardess that heads the page. In fact, each email features the member of staff that would be working the passenger’s outbound flight, purposely positioned above the fold to capture the reader’s attention immediately. How cool is that?
This creative thought, attention to detail and ‘go the extra mile’ personalisation really helps deliver a brand promise, as well as promote a one to one relationship with the customer. One was even quoted as saying; “This is the first piece of email marketing that I have thoroughly read, found helpful and printed out.”
A second factor to consider is user accessibility, so the email template needs to recognise the increase of smartphone usage. That’s why a ‘Call to action’ shouldn’t require the need to pinch-zoom; the layout needs to be mobile friendly.
Including social media links in the email means the user can quickly and easily navigate through to the relevant pages. Likewise, having bespoke e-newsletter sign up tabs within Facebook (while incorporating ‘share’ and ‘like’ buttons in the email) further connects email to social media. It’s a simple and effective way to ensure that all of our campaigns are properly joined up.
To get back to the seminar, it drew to a close with the question; ‘aren’t social and mobile both hotter than email?’. The answer? No. Email is hotter and healthier than ever. It has adapted and moulded into the Mocial world by using personalisation and integrating the social media channels.
And by helping connect users to those channels to provide an integrated user experience, email will continue to create great results for clients.